Repression of liver colorectal metastasis by the serpin Spn4A a naturally occurring inhibitor of the constitutive secretory proprotein convertases.

PMID 24961901


Liver is the most common site of metastasis from colorectal cancers, and liver of patients with liver colorectal metastasis have abnormal levels of the proprotein convertases (PCs). These proteases are involved in the activation and/or expression of various colon cancer-related mediators, making them promising targets in colorectal liver metastasis therapy. Here, we revealed that the serpin Spn4 from Drosophila melanogaster inhibits the activity of all the PCs found in the constitutive secretory pathway and represses the metastatic potential of the colon cancer cells HT-29 and CT-26. In these cells, Spn4A inhibited the processing of the PCs substrates IGF-1R and PDGF-A that associated their reduced anchorage-independent growth, invasiveness and survival in response to apoptotic agents. In vivo, Spn4A-expressing tumor cells showed repressed subcutaneous tumor development and liver metastases formation in response to their intrasplenic inoculation. In these cells Spn4A induced the expression of molecules with anti-metastatic functions and inhibited expression of pro-tumorigenic molecules. Taken together, our findings identify Spn4A as the only endogenous inhibitor of all the constitutive secretory pathway PCs, which is able to repress the metastatic potential of colon cancer cells. These results suggest the potential use of Spn4A and/or derivates as a useful adduct colorectal liver metastasis prevention.